‘They Killed the Dreamer, But They Have Not Killed the Dream’
Neither chilly winds nor a few snowflakes upstaged the military honor guards, high school marching bands and politicians who participated in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade yesterday in Southeast Washington.
Wearing a topcoat and fedora, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty ( D) walked much of the route, shaking hands.
D. C. Council member Marion Barry ( D-Ward 8), sporting a cowboy hat, rode on horseback. “ This parade is the great- est ever,” Barry said as he handled the reins.
The parade was first organized in 1979 to promote a national effort to persuade Congress to designate King’s birthday, Jan. 15, as a holiday. Last year, after an effort promoted by Barry, the event was shifted from January to April in hopes of better weather.
The District’s delegate to Congress, Eleanor Holmes Norton ( D), and the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a former delegate, walked the entire route. Both are veterans of the civil rights movement and were associates of King, who was assas- sinated April 4, 1968.
Norton said, “ We can celebrate King’s birthday every day of the week; we don’t have to do it in the cold of winter.”
Fauntroy agreed that the event is an enduring tribute. “ To have this message every year around the fourth of April lets us know that they killed the dreamer, but they have not killed the dream,” he said.
Mary Jones, 65, took her 3- year- old great- grandson to the march, saying that she would have taken him no matter when the event was held. “ Dr. King made a lot of things possible for us,” she said.
D.C. Council member Marion Barry rides in the event, which he campaigned to have moved from January to April in hopes of warmer weather.
At left, Karl Lewis, 11, dashes back to the sidelines after catching beads tossed from cars during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Parade. Below, Marie Ballard watches as an honor guard passes her house in Southeast on the unseasonably chilly day.